Instructions for Building a Minimal Sukkah

Instructions for Building a Minimal Sukkah

  1. A sukkah must have a minimum of 3 walls.
  2. Dimensions of Walls
    1. Height: Each wall must be a minimum of 10 tefachim (33 inches) high.
    2. Width: Each wall must be a minimum of 7 tefachim (23 inches) wide.
  3. Positions of Walls
    1. At least two of the walls must be connected to each other (similar in form to the letter “L”). The walls are considered joining as long as there is not a space of more than 3 tefachim (9 inches) separating them.


       
    2. If the two walls face each other, the third wall must be adjoined to the end of one of the walls (It does not have to touch the wall, but must be at least 3 tefachim (9 inches) in proximity to it).



  4. The Two Walls
    1. The majority of the two walls must be covered. There may be breaches in the walls of up to 10 amot (384 inches or 32 feet) as long as the majority of the wall is covered.
  5. The Third Wall
    1. A third wall of 7 tefachim (23 inches) must be erected adjoining one of the other walls (within 3 tefachim).
      1. The third wall can be a combination of a wall and a tzurat ha-petach.
        1. If the third wall is not 7 tefachim wide (23 inches) (although it must be more than 4 tefachim (13 inches) wide), a tzurat ha- petach (door frame) should be constructed to complete the 7 tefachim requirement (it can be wider) necessary for a Sukkah wall.
        2. tzurat ha-petach requires a vertical pole placed parallel to the end of the third wall, and a cross piece on top of that pole extending over the third wall.
      2. If there are 3 walls of 7 tefachim, the schach that extends beyond the third wall is valid and is included in the sukkah.
  6. Height of the Walls
    1. The walls must be a minimum of 10 tefachim (33 inches) high. The space above them can be empty as long as the walls are positioned under the schach.
    2. The walls must reach to within 3 tefachim of the ground (9 inches)
  7. Material for the Walls
    1. Walls made from canvas or other soft materials should be tied taut. The walls should not sway in the wind. Some poskim invalidate a sukkah whose walls flap even slightly. Some allow slight flapping. Others allow flapping up to 3 tefachim, if the wall, when flapping, remains at least 10 tefachim high and within 3 tefachim of the ground.
    2. Walls can be made of netting and of string or slats, as long as the distance between each strand or slat is less than 3 tefachim (9 inches). Some invalidate a sukkah built entirely in this manner.